The tour begins at 7:30am in the morning of Day 1 at your Nairobi hotel. Please be on time to meet your driver/guide at the front entrance of the hotel. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area about general and specific aspects of the trip before setting off to Amboseli National Park. Venture south to the famed Amboseli National Park located at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak of the mountain dominates every aspect of the park, providing the ultimate photo backdrop. Amboseli covers only 392 sq km, though despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem the park supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species) and birds (over 400 species). After lunch at your safari camp, spend the afternoon criss-crossing the park in seach of lions, buffaloes, elephants, rhino, cheetah, and of course the photo of a lifetime. A part of the park is composed of a dried-up lake bed which in the shimmering heat produces mirages. Swamps and springs, fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro's melting snows, form permanent watering places for the wildlife through times of drought. The snows of Kilimanjaro form a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya's most spectacular displays of wildlife creating Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise. The park's best game drives are around the swamps and there is a fine lookout on Observation Hill which offers views over the whole of the park and beyond. Years ago this was the locale around which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spun their stories of big-game hunting in the wilds of Africa. In addition, the park that has been made famous by Cynthia Moss, the noted American naturalist and author who has one of the longest-running studies on elephants. You might even see some of the elephants that Cynthia has immortalized in her many books and award-winning film Echo of the Elephants.
This is your full day to enjoy Africa at its best - countless wildlife encounters through open plains spotted with flat-topped acacia trees. Before returning to your safari lodge in the evening, stop at a traditional "manyatta" (Masai village) for an optional visit to learn about the local Masai culture. Part of Masailand, Amboseli National Park is thus the home of the Masai people, those tall, proud nomads whose legendary prowess in battle and single handed acts of bravery in fights with wild animals has spread across the globe. Perhaps more than any other community in Kenya, the Masai have learned to live in complete harmony with their environment, and coexist and thrive together with the wildlife that surrounds them. The park is surrounded by manyatta quickly built out of bent poles and sticks and plastered with cow dung and equally swiftly abandoned when the grazing is finished and the herds must move on.
Rise early for a final morning game drive, enjoying the African sun as it rises over the savannah of the Amboseli plain. Return to Nairobi in the afternoon, where your safari ends.